Of course physician practices are gaining an awareness of this challenge and are starting to do something about it. In this podcast, Tom Furr, founder and CEO of PatientPay explains how his company is helping physician offices address the problem of patient balances. In short, PatientPay makes billing a patient more like billing an insurance company. The objective is to get paid faster, make bills simpler for patients, tie in to existing practice management systems, and reduce costs.
Most physician offices are set up to bill commercial health plans, Medicare and Medicaid. Patient balances are more of an afterthought. That was fine in the era of $5 co-pays, but it’s a big problem now. The growth of high deductible health plans, plus an increase in deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance for more traditional plans means that in many cases the majority of payment for a particular visit or service is owed by the patient. Despite that, the main focus of the office’s billing system is on getting the insurer to adjudicate the claim and pay its share.